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Sunday November 28th

Biden announces vaccine requirement

<p>The move comes amid growing concerns about the Delta variant of Covid-19, with the President harshly condemning the unvaccinated minority(<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/nihgov/50950110202/in/photolist-2kChCFU-2m8mRrJ-2kChCCT-2kUX6zz-2kHjKNF-2kD3r55-2kEB8nY-2kHrgP6-2kxHuXC-2kvCcW4-2ktJdQo-2kLQKza-2kFMKu8-2kJG89K-2kCWgLg-2kGGPNz-2mkZpQ2-2kDGyby-2m2n6jp-2kR1zTP-2kCS93e-2kdZXZ5-2kZwKp8-2kf1AHk-2kCgm1k-2kaEmFa-2ksG9Jp-2kj3LVA-2kjHGKs-2kdkQQ6-2jh5t4z-2jTpj8V-2jLLFh3-2kXhHXr-2jwfwAV-2mjvMgd-2kpvfao-2k5GCFy-2jJ8bcv-2j4SvaV-2k8DteR-2jYWpH7-2krJsQm-2kjteAX-2kpmwpF-2jiqKER-2kRWYBK-2jcXVyC-2kjxoRN-2iBquqF" target="">Flickr</a>).<br/><br/></p>

The move comes amid growing concerns about the Delta variant of Covid-19, with the President harshly condemning the unvaccinated minority(Flickr).

Harrison Lavelle 

Staff Writer

On Sept. 9th, President Biden announced a new vaccine requirement for all federal employees and contractors according to AP. The move comes amid growing concerns about the Delta variant of Covid-19, with the President harshly condemning the unvaccinated minority. 

Constituting a stricter version of July restrictions that required federal employees to disclose vaccination status or submit to continuing coronavirus mitigation protocols, the new regulations are aimed to force unvaccinated federal workers to get the shot and join the 53% of Americans that are fully vaccinated as of this week

Previously, all employees who chose not to sign documents verifying vaccination status were made to abide by strict coronavirus regulations including masking, social distancing and weekly testing — the opt-out for such employees has now been eliminated. Press Secretary Jen Psaki also reiterated that it is the administration’s expectation that all federal workers be vaccinated. The recent update lines up with Biden’s earlier announcement that all employees at centers utilizing Medicare and Medicaid funding must receive vaccinations. 

The sweeping governmental action also affects up to 80 million workers in the private sector. Entities employing more than 100 individuals will now be forced to ensure a fully-immunized workforce or face weekly testing requirements according to NPR. Pursuant to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s announcement last month, President Biden’s request for vaccination mandates for all military service members is also set to take effect sometime this month. 

Though about half of the population is still in need of an initial vaccination, the CDC has endorsed the administration of booster shots, a process that is expected to start in the coming weeks. Boosters will be available later this fall for individuals that have had their Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for at least eight months. Members of the medical community, along with the traditional risk groups that got the vaccine at the start of this year, are expected to be first in line for the second round.

The Biden Administration has become more open to vaccine mandates. But despite the broad requirements laid upon federal employees, associated contractors, and select private businesses, it remains unlikely that the President will pursue a universal federal vaccine mandate for all Americans over 12 years of age. 

With certain Republican lawmakers already criticizing the $14,000 fines that could be levied against businesses that do not comply with the new regulations, the likelihood of open acceptance of further overreach appears slim. Proponents of a full federal mandate have used the Supreme Court’s 1905 decision in Jacobson v. Massachusetts as a constitutional precedent — you can read more about the case here.

By gradually increasing regulations, the administration is attempting to force private businesses to make vaccination, or weekly testing, a condition of employment. The combined regulation changes, which could affect up to 100 million Americans, could decrease hesitancy rates around the country, raising the national vaccination rate as the fall approaches. For Americans that have already been vaccinated and remain frustrated by inconsistent messaging, the President has urged patience and commitment until the virus is beaten.




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